College of Nursing Alumni Society Awards

We invite you to nominate a colleague for one of these awards to be presented at The Ohio State University College of Nursing recognition ceremony during Homecoming weekend in the fall.

  • Nomination period is open April 13 to June 13.
  • Current members of the Alumni Society Board of Governors are not eligible for these awards. Previous recipients are not eligible for the same award.
  • Nominations can be completed online at starting April 13.

Supporting documentation should be attached to the nomination form and includes:

  • Nominating statement limited to three, single spaced pages.
  • Letters of support, limited to three.
  • Current curriculum vitae or resume.

College of Nursing Alumni Award

The College of Nursing Alumni Award is presented to a College of Nursing Alumni Society Board member who has demonstrated a sustained leadership role that is exemplified by exceptional leadership, regular participation, and encouragement of new ideas to meet the goals of the organization.

Current Award Recipient
Kris AdamsKristine Weiss Adams, MS, CNP (1992 BSN)

Kristine Adams is the Associate Chief Nursing Officer for Care Management and Ambulatory Services for the Cleveland Clinic Health System. In her role, she directs care management, care coordination, ambulatory nursing, home care, hospice and post-acute nursing practice. She is responsible for oversight of quality, safety, regulatory compliance and operational activities and collaborates with executive leadership in the development and implementation of strategic operations.

Kris began her career in 1992 as a staff nurse at Sparrow Hospital in Lansing, Michigan. She joined Cleveland Clinic Fairview Hospital in 2008, and became a nurse practitioner in 2010. She has worked in numerous nursing specialty areas at various hospitals, as well as the free clinic setting. She was a 2013 recipient of the Greater Cleveland Nurse’s Association Faces of Care Award, the 2007 recipient of Cleveland Clinic’s Louise McNamara Award for Excellence in Leadership and Clinical Nursing, and a 2020 recipient of the Cleveland Clinic Nurse Lifetime Achievement Award. She lectures frequently at Ursuline College and Case Western Reserve University on Population Health Management and Health Care Policy. She currently serves as President of the College of Nursing Alumni Society.

Past Award Recipients
2020 Peggy Agle
2021 Kristine Weiss Adams

Distinguished Alumna/us Award

The Distinguished Alumni Award is given to an Ohio State College of Nursing graduate in recognition of and appreciation for exceptional achievement over their career. The recipient of this award exemplifies the mission and vision of the College of Nursing while providing inspiration for current students, faculty and alumni. Professional areas for consideration include one or more of the following: practice excellence, education, administration, professional writing, evidence-based practice, research or public service.

Current Award Recipients
Sandy CornettDr. Sandra Cornett, PhD, RN (1965, 1970 MS, 1981 PhD)

Dr. Sandra “Sandy” (Fisher) Cornett is a three-time graduate of the Ohio State University. Her remarkable nursing career in the areas of patient education and staff development spanning nearly 50 years provides ongoing inspiration to current students, faculty and alumni. She is recognized and applauded at the local, state and national levels for her groundbreaking work in patient education and literacy.

Sandy served at The Ohio State University Hospital as Assistant Director of Staff Development for the Means Hall coronary care unit, cardiac step-down and pulmonary units. She went on to become a clinical instructor at the Ohio State College of Nursing and later as an adjunct professor. Additionally, Sandy taught courses in the Ohio State School of Allied Medical Professions related to individual differences in patient populations from perspectives of disability, chronic disease, healthcare disparity, culture and the impact on health and wellness.

Sandy became the Program Manager for Consumer Health Education of the newly created Ohio State Medical Center Department of Consumer and Corporate Health Education. During this time, she and another colleague from the James Cancer Hospital established the Center for Health Information, a patient-consumer health information library with over 30 volunteers and a part-time librarian. Since 1974, Sandy has supported patient education and literacy through published articles, modules, chapters and books. She authored the book Cardiac Rehabilitation: An Interdisciplinary Team Approach, and wrote two chapters in the book, Managing Hospital-Based Patient Education. Most recently in 2021, she co-authored Patient Education Practice Guidelines for Health Care Professionals.

Sandy served on the College of Nursing Alumni Society Board of Governors as president, and after service on the Board, she collaborated with other society presidents in spearheading a fundraising initiative of one million dollars for nursing scholarships to be completed by the College of Nursing’s centennial year. The ten-year effort was completed in nine years.

Maureen MustoMaureen Musto, MS, RN, APRN-CNS, ACNS-BC, CRRN (1994, 2006 MS)

Maureen Musto has practiced as a bedside and an advanced practice nurse for 26 years at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, where she has devoted her career to the advancement of rehabilitation nursing. She is an evidence-based practice (EBP) mentor who develops, guides and encourages staff nurses to become active critical thinkers and to incorporate evidence-based practice into their daily care to improve patient outcomes. She promotes nursing staff development through nurse residency programming, CRRN certification, clinical ladder participation and evidenced-based projects.

Maureen has volunteered numerous times nationally with test question writing, APN role reviewer, The Pulse workgroup, Rehabilitation Nursing Journal Reviewer and Core Curriculum chapter reviewer. She has been involved as a liaison of ARN to the World Health Organization (WHO). First, as a reviewer of the core competency model for rehabilitation nursing, and again to represent rehabilitation nursing in the development of the WHO Package of Interventions for Rehabilitation of Patient’s with Traumatic Brain Injury. Maureen is a leader and mentor to the next generation of rehabilitation leaders, to impact the outcomes for persons with disability. She is a clinical expert that has shared her vision and has taken the time to mentor the next generation.

Past Award Recipients
1984 Patricia Sloan
1985 Mary Silva
1986 Mary Donohue
1987 Ella Kick
1988 Lois Johns

Marie Collart
Constance Collins
Elaine Glass
Ada Lindsey
Mary MacVicar
Kathryn Peppe
Mary Perley
Dorothea Rye
Betty Schmoll
Ethelrine Shaw-Nickerson
1990 Ellen Rudy
Deborah Coleman
Carol Jenkins
2000 Elizabeth Pitorak
2001 Kitty Kisker
2002 Beverly Hampton
2003 Kristine Campbell
2004 Lillian Bernhagen
2005 Suzanne DeWoody

Jeffrey Jones
Joan Wessman
Clarann Weinert
2009 Kathryn Peppe
2010 Mary Ann Wilcox
2011 Phyllis Kaldor
2012 Danette Birkhimer
2013 Kathleen Lux
2014 100 Alumni Transformers
2015 Adele Webb
2016 Pamela Greene
2017 Cynthia Moore-Hardy
2018 Linda Amos
2019 Eric A. Yap
2020 Judy Ressallat
Sandra Cornett
Maureen Musto

Distinguished Recent Alumna/us Award

The Distinguished Recent Alumni Award is given to an Ohio State University (OSU) College of Nursing alumnus who has graduated within the past 10 years. This Award is in honor and appreciation of accomplishments that exemplify outstanding early career achievement in at least one of the following areas of Nursing: practice excellence, education, administration, evidence-based practice, research or commendable public service.

Current Award Recipient
Justin KellyJustin Kelly, BSN, RN, CCRN, RHIA (2020 MHI)

Justin Kelly is originally from Northeast Ohio and has lived in Columbus since 2005. He attended The Ohio State University and obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Allied Medical Professions, Health Information Management and Systems. Right after completing this degree, Justin attended the Mt. Carmel College of Nursing and obtained a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. In May of 2020, he graduated with a master’s degree in Healthcare Innovation from The Ohio State University College of Nursing.

He considers himself to be an innovative nursing leader with 10 years of experience delivering expert oncology nursing care that aims to improve the patient experience and transform the bedside nursing profession. He has spent most of his career seeking opportunities that have helped him to develop professionally as a nurse at the bedside, and also to help illustrate that nurses can do just about anything. As a current intensive care unit nurse, Justin continuously strives to be an advocate for patients and families but also for himself and his colleagues. In addition to working in the ICU, he currently serves as the James Nursing Leadership Council Co-Chair, the James Nursing Innovation and Research Council Co-Chair and as a 2021 Fellow for Nursing Government Affairs and Advocacy. In his free time, Justin enjoys biking along the Olentangy Trail and getting back home to see his family and two nieces.

Past Award Recipients
2003 Jon Mickle
2004 Robin Rosselet
2005 Angie Overholt
2006 Theresa Skybo
2008 Andrew Betz
2009 Jodi McDaniel
2010 Jill Kilanowski
2011 Christopher Tod Brindle
2012 Pattama Ulrich
2013 Carrie Keib
2015 Denise Minor
2016 Sarah Meyer
2017 Stephen Roller
2018 Rebecca Taylor
2019 Tim Raderstorf
2020 Calli Cook
2021 Justin Kelly

Community Service Award

The Community Service Award is presented to an Ohio State College of Nursing graduate in honor of the significant contributions of time, actions, talents and dedication made to improve the health of the community (local, regional, national or global). The Awardee promotes the health of the community through sustained professional and/or volunteer work. The recipient serves as a model for compassion and service to others.

Current Award Recipient
Alex JonesAlexandria Jones, MS, RN, CPH (2007, 2010 MS)

Alexandria (Alex) Jones has dedicated her career, actions and talents toward improving the health and equity of our community. In her roles as Franklin County Public Health (FCPH) Assistant Health Commissioner and Director of Prevention & Wellness, president of the Ohio Public Health Association and collaborator with community stakeholders including the Ohio State College of Nursing, Alex takes an innovative, energetic and problem-solving approach in overcoming obstacles and improving outcomes.

As Assistant Health Commissioner and Director of Prevention & Wellness at FCPH, Alex oversees the Departments of Immunizations, Maternal and Child Health and Infectious Diseases. She works with staff and community stakeholders to identify, report, analyze and resolve health issues that arise among a population of 480,000 within the FCPH jurisdiction. Alex was proactive in monitoring and managing the largest statewide hepatitis A outbreak in 25 years. Her FCPH team, in collaboration with Columbus Public Health (CPH), investigated over 436 cases of hepatitis A. Additionally, FCPH and CPH vaccinated over 7,000 people who are at elevated risk to exposure or contraction of hepatitis A, including first responders, corrections inmates, homeless communities and drug users.

Alex readily stepped up to serve Franklin County as the COVID-19 Operations Section Chief. She oversaw the deliverables of 2.8 million COVID-19 related activities including public health case investigation, disease containment, public health order compliance, hotline support and mass vaccination. Alex was instrumental in working with community stakeholders by providing reopening plans in compliance with the State of Ohio Director’s Orders and providing technical assistance to community stakeholders such as K-12 schools, college/universities and congregate living settings. Alex has served on state and national committees and task forces including Ohio Chronic Disease Director for the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors; Infant Mortality Social Determinants of Health Workgroup Member for the Health Policy Institute of Ohio; and Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health Workgroup Member for National Association of City and County Health Officials.

Alex works tirelessly throughout her career to serve our community. She was featured in the Ohio State College of Nursing Spring 2021 Transformations in Nursing and Health highlighting her leadership in COVID-19 vaccinations and has been recognized as a March of Dimes Nurse of the Year finalist in Public Health. Most recently, Alex was selected as a 2021 Business First 40 under 40 honoree.

Past Award Recipients
2003 Margaret Flowers
2004 Jessie Pergrin
2005 Elsie Williams-Wilson
2006 Saundra Theis
2008 Debbie Cannon Freece
2009 Carol Baker
2010 Carol Prince
2011 Kitty Kisker
2015 John Welch
2016 Kristine Weiss Adams
2017 Janet Hussong
2018 Ann Marie Stalter-Justice
2019 Amy M. Provenzano
2020 Karen Lane
2021 Alexandria Jones

Mildred E. Newton Distinguished Educator Award

The Mildred E. Newton Distinguished Educator Award honors an Ohio State College of Nursing graduate who has served, or is currently serving, as an educator or dean of a nationally accredited college/school of nursing. The Awardee’s personal integrity, leadership, commitment to nursing education and advancement of nursing science has contributed significantly to the advancement of the nursing profession and the preparation of the next generation of nurses. The following exemplars will be considered: teaching, evidence-based practice, research, publication, leadership in the professional communities at the state, national or global levels, or public service.

Current Award Recipient
Jeffrey JonesDr. Jeffrey Jones, DNP, RN, PMHCNS-BC, LNC. (1993)

Dr. Jeffrey Jones began his own mental health consulting company, providing primary mental health services to individuals and couples, as well as consultation services to organizations. His business model is also founded on the principles of Peplau and the promotion of wellness within the patient-nurse relationship. Jeffery’s work has positively impacted hundreds of people, especially in the psychiatric-mental health community. His commitment to clinical practice, to educating the next generation of nurse leaders, as well as his organizational work to promote the advancement of psychiatric/mental health nursing has impacted individuals and organizations on many professional levels.

Jeffrey has held several academic appointments including Full Time Visiting Instructor at University of Akron, and Adjunct Professor roles at The Ohio State University, Case Western Reserve University, Mid-Central College of Nursing, Ashland University, North-Central State College, Marion Technical College, and Central Ohio Technical College. His research interests include interpersonal relations in nursing, relationship based nursing care and boundary management in the nurse-patient relationship.

As a thought leader in his field, Jeffrey explores how advanced practice nursing can bring leadership to the health care field as a whole by highlighting how the wise utilization of mental health nurses and their unique contributions can have a healing effect, not only on individuals, but also on organizations and systems as well. Jeffrey has contributed eight peer reviewed journal articles, most recently The Medicalization of Nursing: The Loss of a Discipline’s Unique Identity, and Integrating a Virtual Community of Practice (VCoP) into Graduate Psychiatric Nursing Curriculum, Journal of Nursing Education and Practice. He co-wrote several books including Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing: An Interpersonal Approach, Fast Facts for the Nurse Psychotherapist; The Process of Becoming, Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing: An Interpersonal Approach, and has contributed chapters to over 31 academic books. His career has offered an exemplar of how to empower patients, students and colleagues to develop their own leadership capabilities.

Past Award Recipients
2003 Ada Lindsey
2004 Marilyn Sommers
2005 Zaiga Kalnins
2006 Marilyn Rothert
2010 Davina Gosnell
2011 Karen Ahijevych
2012 Edna Menke
2013 Barbara Warren
2015 Jeri Milstead
2016 Susan Frazier
2017 Colleen Keller
2018 Betsy Frank
2019 Charold Lee Baer
2020 Janet S. Fulton
2021 Jeffrey Jones